Due to the Earth’s eastward revolution, counter-clockwise as viewed from the North Pole or clockwise from Antarctica, the sun travels on a westward trajectory across the day sky until it reaches its farthest destination and disappears along the horizon. In simpler terms, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. So what is better: the eastward sunrise or the westward sunset? Although it may seem quite simple, the issue of sunrise vs. sunset is far from it.
Some may say that it is only a matter of preferring to look east or west, but this is simply not the case. In fact, there are only two days out of the entire year when the sun actually rises in the east and sets in the west. From the March equinox to the September equinox, the sun rises in the northeast quadrant of the sky and sets in the southeast, and vice-versa from the September equinox to the March equinox. So what if you prefer north over south or south over north? You can’t go on a yearly cycle switching off between sunset and sunrise. It just isn’t justifiable. Clearly, it is a heated issue, so The Talon to two of its writers and had them duke it out … with words.
Meaghan: Blue skies fill with orange and pink, sunglasses get returned to their holders and the lights go on in most homes. Sunsets are a time for you to slow down for a while on your way home from work or maybe sports practice. And the best part is, they always happen around 5:30 to 6:30, IN THE EVENING! No waking up super early, forcing down cups of coffee in order to stay awake and rubbing your bleary eyes to try to see the sunrise in focus.
Matt:It may be true that sunset is more convenient, but sunrise looks better on our college resumé. If you were to write “I love looking at sunsets,” on your applications you would’ve gone into the boring, sunset-loving pile of rejects. But writing about sunrises in your application will cause a college reader to see your commitment in waking up early, and the fact that you don’t fall into silly Hollywood-esque clichés.
Meaghan: But everyone remembers the final scene with Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek in “After the Sunset” with the boat chase running toward the sunset and Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in “Titanic” leaning over the guardrail with the sunset in the background. Sunsets are romantic, meaningful and, quite frankly, beautiful.
Matt: Actually, the only reason the sunset is arguably more beautiful is that there is more smog polluting the sky during the evening hours.
Meaghan: Well, you can see the sun set over the ocean here in California, which should make it the clear victor.
Matt: That doesn’t matter. It rises over trees and stuff, which is way cooler than water anyway. Water is boring. All it is is two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen. Trees, on the other hand, are filled with chloroplasts and ribosomes and God knows what, but they are awesome.
Meaghan: We obviously can’t agree, can we? You would never say that sunsets were better than sunrises, and I would absolutely never agree that precious little sunrises were better than grand and powerful sunsets. Should we call it a draw?
Matt: I don’t think we have a choice. This battle must be concluded as a tie. The epic dispute between the fans of sunrises and sets will have to continue to coexist peacefully, and as equals.